Commonwealth Games 2022 – Durban Officially Only Bid Submitted.
It was a lively, energetic atmosphere when the South African delegation handed in their bid for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Edmonton was Durban’s only rival before last week, but after pulling out, Durban are the front runners for the showpiece.
The commitee promised a very compact sporting event with only a handful of sports to be played outside of Durban. When submitting the bid, Durban’s mayor James Nxumalo promised that the city is ready. It has also been proposed that the opening ceremony take place on former President Nelson Mandela’s birthday. The comprehensive 600-page bid book contains an economic impact assessment that predicts a huge boost to the economy, job creation and improve housing and transport as a spin-off, while officials remain tight-lipped about the actual cost of hosting the event, with national government yet to formally sign off on those involved.
Durban hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games will boost SA’s economy by R20bn, more than half of which will come from foreign visitors. This is according to the report of an economic impact study that is part of the Durban 2022 bid book submitted to the Commonwealth Games Federation in London this afternoon. Durban is the only candidate after the withdrawal of Edmonton in Canada, but the city must still produce a quality bid to win the Commonwealth Games Federation general assembly’s vote for approval on September 2. According to the 17-page economic impact report, commissioned by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, the Games will be a bonanza for the city and SA in general.
Benefits would include:
• Generating total spend of R20bn, which will translate into gross domestic product (GPD) growth of R11bn;
• Creating 11,650 jobs;
• Training up a significant portion of the 10,000 volunteers, many of whom will be youth from rural areas;
• Fast-tracking of government projects, such as housing development through the building of the athletes’ village and Durban’s public transport system;
• Creating a “feelgood” factor by replicating the carnival atmosphere of past Games;
• Reducing crime; and,
• Creating a “feel-good” factor for the general population.
According to the report, the Games will attract up to 1.4-million visitors, which is expected to run from July 18-29. “The 2022 Commonwealth Games (are) expected to attract more international visitors than any previous Games, with up to 200,000 visitors expected over the duration of the Games,” the report says. “These visitors will bring with them significant incremental spending to the economy, from purchasing tickets to travel costs, accommodation expenses, entertainment, meals and beverages, visiting local tourist attractions and procuring other goods and services. “In total, international visitors are expected to contribute up to R12bn in direct expenditure.”
The R20bn total spend comprises R10.5bn from direct spend (R5.8bn to GDP), R6bn from indirect spend (R3.3bn to GDP) and R3.5bn from induced output (R1.9bn to GDP).
About 7,300 athletes will compete in 17 sports, 14 of which will be housed in a 2.5km radius from the Moses Mabhida stadium. About 1.3-million tickets will be sold for the events “at affordable average prices”, and there will be fan parks.
The jobs created by the Games will include 4,400 paid positions directly linked to the showpiece, including 1,000 full-time employees of the organising committee. The 10,000 volunteers will be made up of senior citizens and students.
Many of the younger volunteers “would be recruited (from rural and previously disadvantaged backgrounds) and trained in a manner which would equip these individuals with a sustainable level of skill which would increase their future employment opportunities”.
Another benefit to hosting the Games would be in reducing crime. “Significant investment in enhancing safety and security as well as implementing proactive policing mechanisms would have a positive impact in reducing the level of violence and crime across the country.” One of the legacies of the Games would be the athletes’ village in Cornubia, which would comprise 1,750 housing units capable of accommodating about 7,000 people.
Another would be Durban’s Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network, the plans of which have already been approved.
“The implementation of these plans coupled with significant planned capital investment will significantly enhance the public transport system in and around the city prior to 2022.”
The report also talks about enhancing SA’s brand as a major events destination, building upon the 2010 Fifa World Cup.